Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 22 (1907)


Ms 25, 1907

A Practical Faith


January 18, 1907 [typed]

Portions of this manuscript are published in 6MR 284.

I have words to speak to the churches. We need to examine ourselves closely, to see whether we are in the faith. 22LtMs, Ms 25, 1907, par. 1

“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied. Blessed be the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed at the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now, for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” [1 Peter 1:1-7.] 22LtMs, Ms 25, 1907, par. 2

This is the word of God to us. What largeness of expectation is held out, what encouragement. Shall we not grasp the encouragement, and work out in our lives the faith presented? We are living in the last days of this earth’s history. Shall we not lay hold of these principles that will make us grow in grace? The gracious promise is for every one who will lay hold of it, and work according to a sincere reception of the grace that it is our privilege to have. Let us grasp these assurances by faith, that we may realize daily that we are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed at the last time. Laying hold of this hope, we shall become true laborers together with God. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” [Hebrews 11:1.] God is honored when we lay hold of His Word and act upon it, weaving His promises into our labors for souls who are ready to perish. 22LtMs, Ms 25, 1907, par. 3

Our faith will be seen and felt by those who associate with us. We must not show the least distrust of God. At this time, when we need so much the faith that works by love and purifies the soul, we are to trust in the verity of God’s promises, showing our faith by our works. By doing this we become an educating power, inspiring others with the same faith in God. “Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable, and full of glory: receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” [1 Peter 1:8, 9.] 22LtMs, Ms 25, 1907, par. 4

You have everything to gain. In order to cultivate faith, you have only to receive the Word and weave it into your life experience. When you speak, let your words be words of faith. You cannot afford to live one day without the exercise of faith in word and action. In 1844 we witnessed the fulfilment of God’s promises when we talked faith, and prayed faith, and worked by faith. The strength and power of God was with us. 22LtMs, Ms 25, 1907, par. 5

“Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: searching what or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.” [Verses 10-12.] 22LtMs, Ms 25, 1907, par. 6

All heaven is interested in the plan of salvation. The end of the great conflict is near; the signs foretelling the end are rapidly fulfilling. We should be earnestly preparing our hearts for the ministration of the Holy Spirit that, it may be revealed in our lives in a marked manner. Human beings have a decided part to act in the plan of salvation; angels are doing their part by guarding the souls who work according to God’s Word. “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: but as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation and godliness; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” “And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear.” [Verses 13-17.] You are to be cheerful and pleasant and courteous; but all trifling is to be put away; for “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” [Psalm 111:10.] 22LtMs, Ms 25, 1907, par. 7

Peter continues his charge: “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, such as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, who by Him do believe in God, that raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. 22LtMs, Ms 25, 1907, par. 8

“Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever. For all flesh is grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: but the word of the Lord abideth forever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you. 22LtMs, Ms 25, 1907, par. 9

“Wherefore laying aside all malice and all guile, and hypocrisies and envies, and all evil speakings, as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: if so be that ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, ye also, as lively stones are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” [1 Peter 1:18-25; 2:1-5.] 22LtMs, Ms 25, 1907, par. 10

There must be changes made in our churches that have had light from the Word of God. Peter urges those who are faithful to fulfil the Word. There are those among us who are cultivating a taste for fictitious reading. These are not walking in accordance with the precious instruction given here. I ask such souls to make a decided change in your religious life. Is it not high time that each one examine his life and character and cut away every perverted appetite and taste? Now, just now, before it may be forever too late, look closely to yourselves; it is for your eternal interest that you delay not. 22LtMs, Ms 25, 1907, par. 11

“Behold I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on Him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe He is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed the same is become the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of Him that hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light: which in times past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. 22LtMs, Ms 25, 1907, par. 12

“Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.” [Verses 6-12.] 22LtMs, Ms 25, 1907, par. 13

When the Word of God defines our duty so clearly, what excuse can we render to God if we do not place ourselves in right relation to Him? What excuse shall we give why we have selfishly used His means that should have been spent in advancing a knowledge of the truth in all parts of the world? In the night season I was addressing a large company of our people. I said to them, Will you open your hearts and minds to the influences of the Holy Spirit? Will you seek the Lord in humility of soul, confessing your sins? Will you who have not given the trumpet a certain sound now confess your backslidings, and repent and be converted? Will you draw nigh to God, as obedient children lay hold of the rich promises of His Word, and exert a saving influence to bring souls to a knowledge of the truth? If you will do this, you will receive the rich blessings of God. I call upon the churches to repent of their neglect to obey God, to seek the Lord, and meet His requirements, that you may receive the blessings that the apostle Peter brings to your view. God help us all to come up on a high platform of purity and righteousness. 22LtMs, Ms 25, 1907, par. 14